As you have taken the time to visit this page, you are curious to learn about PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising. As you already know, PPC is widely discussed because it is a highly effective way for companies to reach their desired audience and drive conversions. This guide will cover all aspects of PPC, including ads, keywords, ranking, targeting, and more. Keep reading to learn all about PPC.

Let’s jump into the basics first.

What is PPC

For most of us, paid ads are convenient when we want to get more clicks for our website or app. Search engines are commonly used platforms for hosting ads because they enable advertisers to show ads relevant to users’ search queries. Services such as Google Ads and Microsoft Ads utilize real-time bidding (RTB) technology, which allows advertising inventory to be sold through a private, automated auction process that uses real-time data.

What is Paid Search, and How does it work?

Whenever one ad takes place on a search engine result page (SERP), the search engine creates an auction instantly. PPC advertising operates through real-time auctions on search engine results pages (SERP). Each time an ad spot becomes available on a SERP, an auction is triggered for the corresponding keyword. The winning ad is determined by a combination of factors, including bid amount and ad quality. These auctions occur every time a user searches on a search engine and are the driving force behind PPC advertising.

In PPC advertising, an auction is triggered when advertisers are looking to display ads related to a user’s search query. The auction is based on keywords that advertisers bid on. The winning ads are then displayed on the search engine results page. Advertisers use platforms like Google Ads to set up ads and specify where and when they want them to appear. These accounts are often divided into campaigns for better management and reporting of different locations, product types, or other relevant categories.

The main PPC platforms


Google is a leading provider of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which can be found on various platforms within the search engine, including standard search results, Google Shopping, and other areas. Advertisers compete for placement by bidding on keywords, with the highest bidder receiving the top spot. The relevance and quality of keywords, the performance of previous campaigns, and the landing page quality are also considered through a metric called Quality Score.

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook is a popular advertising platform with various PPC (pay-per-click) options, such as carousel and video ads. Instagram, owned by Facebook, also offers a range of PPC options. Advertisers can target specific demographics and control their ads’ placement, timing, and context, similar to the keyword bidding system used by Google.


Twitter is another social media platform that offers PPC (pay-per-click) advertising options. However, the pricing on Twitter is more complex than other platforms, as it is influenced by factors such as bid amount, audience size, engagement, and competition. All types of Twitter campaigns, including video feed ads, standard feed ads, and hashtag promotions, use the same PPC model.

Keywords in PPC

In PPC advertising, keywords are used as generalizations of various search queries, which can include misspellings and other irregularities. Advertisers can use different keyword match types to match search queries with varying levels of precision.

For example, an advertiser can match keywords exactly with search queries or allow for variations such as different word orderings, spellings, or words. Negative keywords can also be used to prevent ads from being triggered by search queries containing those keywords to avoid irrelevant traffic.

Navigate Keyword

Negative keywords are an essential tool for managing your PPC campaign budget effectively. Adding negative keywords to your campaign can ensure that your ads do not appear for irrelevant search queries, reducing bounce rate and providing more accurate analytics results.

Identifying negative keywords can be challenging, but you can use analytics results, compare them with other effects, and try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. For example, if you are selling a blue shirt for men, the keyword “women’s blue shirt” would be a budget killer, so the keyword should add it to the negative keyword list. Remember to regularly update your negative keyword list to stay on top of it.


PPC ads typically consist of

  1. headlines
  2. description lines
  3. URL

They can appear at the top or bottom of a search engine results page (SERP). It is advisable to test different versions of ad copy to determine which performs best. Services such as Google Ads and Microsoft Ads offer features called ad extensions that enhance the appearance of ads. These include site link extensions, which add more links to different pages on a site and Call extensions, which display a phone number during business hours. Ad extensions are beneficial as they increase the visibility of ads by making them more engaging to users and providing more information.

Campaign and Ad groups

Utilizing campaigns and ad groups in PPC advertising can enhance your efforts by allowing you to define specific goals and target audiences. Campaigns allow you to decide the type of PPC advertising you will use and optimize the algorithm for better results. Ad groups allow you to separate your ads into groups with similar goals, resulting in more targeted ad copy and landing pages, improving your click-through rate and quality score. Additionally, ad groups provide flexibility in budgeting by allowing you to allocate budgets based on the success of specific ads, products, and pages.

You can better track and analyze your results using campaigns and ad groups. By separating your ads into different groups, you can easily see which ads are performing well and which need improvement. This allows you to make more informed decisions when creating future campaigns and also allows you to optimize your campaigns in real time. Additionally, by using movements, you can track the performance of your ads based on different goals, such as conversion rate, click-through rate, and return on investment.


Segmenting your audience is an effective way to manage and optimize your PPC campaigns. By targeting specific groups, you can improve the relevance and performance of your ads. There are four main ways to segment your audience when targeting PPC advertising:

Device Based

Targeting specific devices is one way to segment your audience in PPC advertising. This can include targeting mobile and tablet users separately from desktop/laptop users. It allows you to optimize your campaigns and landing pages for specific device types. For instance, you could create mobile-optimized content and campaigns for users who access your website via mobile devices, resulting in a better user experience and potentially increasing conversions.

Location Based

Location-based targeting allows you to target specific geographic areas with your PPC advertising campaigns.  By utilizing localized ad content, you can establish a stronger connection with users in specific areas, making your ad more relatable. Targeting areas where the primary language is spoken can help you avoid language barriers. This approach is especially useful for businesses focusing on particular regions or localities or aiming to convey a more universal message nationwide.

Location-based targeting is also cost-effective for smaller businesses targeting a specific catchment area. This helps avoid unnecessary spending on ads that the desired audience will not see. It can also help create a sense of inclusivity by using dialects familiar to the area.


Demographic-based targeting is a method of audience segmentation that allows you to target users based on their characteristics, qualities, and socio-economic background. When using demographics-based targeting, you can choose from various parameters to refine your audience, depending on the platform you are using for your PPC campaign. For example, Facebook and Instagram offer different demographic parameters to choose from.

By using demographics-based targeting, you can narrow your audience to a specific group of people, making your PPC ads more relevant and increasing the chances of getting more conversions. For example, you could target men between 18-40 interested in sports to advertise football shirts. Some popular parameters used in demographics-based targeting include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Household income
  • Parental status
  • Employment status
  • Relationship status
  • Language spoken
  • Education level
  • Interests
  • Political affinity.


Time-based targeting can also be helpful for businesses that have specific hours of operation. For example, if you only operate during the daytime, you can set your ads to only show during those hours, avoiding wasted ad spending on times when your business is closed. Additionally, your target audience is more active on certain days of the week. In that case, you can set your ads to show on those days, ensuring maximum visibility to your desired audience. Overall, time-based targeting can help you to optimize your ad spending and reach your target audience at the most effective times.

Budget and Bids

How much are you willing to spend to participate in an auction in your central Budget and Bids? The campaign level consists budget and can be exceeded daily. Your account strategy should be your budget. In PPC advertising, all ad groups must have bids, but bids at the keyword level override ad group-level bids. Many advertisers use automated bidding strategies, which enable them to set specific goals for their campaigns and let the advertising platform determine the optimal bid for each auction. These bid strategies can be applied to individual campaigns or a portfolio of multiple campaigns. Due to the real-time bidding system, the actual amount paid by the advertiser is determined by competitor activity and ad rank, not just the maximum bid.

  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Cost-per-impression (CPM)
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
  • Target return on ad spend (ROAS)

Each of these strategies serves a different purpose, and the one you choose will depend on the goals of your PPC campaign. For example, if your goal is to drive more conversions, then you may use the CPA or ROAS strategy. But if your goal is to increase brand awareness, then the CPC or CPM strategy may be more appropriate. Understanding the different bidding strategies and how they will help you to make the most of your PPC budget and achieve the desired results from your campaigns. The strategies include:

Enhanced CPC

The automated bidding strategy offered by platforms like Google allows for dynamic adjustments to your bid limit based on the algorithm’s predictions for conversion potential. It can include increasing your bid by up to 30% if the algorithm believes there is a high likelihood of conversion or lowering it to optimize your cost per click and maximize the value of your budget. It is important to note that this strategy relies on sufficient historical data for the algorithm to make accurate predictions.

Target search page location

The algorithm will adjust your bids to optimize conversing, which could mean lower bids for keywords that don’t convert well and higher recommendations for those that do. This method is best used when you know your target audience and the conversion goals you want to achieve. The algorithm will use historical data and other factors to adjust your bids and deliver the best possible results for your campaign.

Target CPA

Target CPA allows you to set a specific cost per conversion goal, and the algorithm automatically adjusts bids to achieve this goal. It optimizes your ad spending by aiming to minimize expenses while maximizing conversions. This strategy is beneficial for businesses operating with a limited budget, as it helps them achieve their desired conversion goals without overspending.


If your main goal is getting as many clicks as possible, this is your ideal strategy. Maximise clicks uses Google’s algorithm to ensure you get as many clicks on your ads as possible within your budget.

Bidding strategies on other platforms

It is important to note that while the specific terms and features may differ across platforms, the underlying principles of budgeting and bidding for PPC campaigns remain consistent. For example, while the word “Target CPA” is specific to Google, other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offer similar functionality under a different name, such as “Minimum ROAS” (Return on Ad Spend). Despite these differences, bidding can apply the same general strategies and approaches to any platform.

Ad Rank

To achieve a top ranking on a search engine results page, bid amount and ad relevance are crucial. However, other factors search engines consider when determining ad ranks, such as ad context, format, keyword, and landing page quality. Ad relevance is critical; even if you have a high bid, your ad will rank less on the search results if your keyword relevancy is low. Various factors determine ad rank on different platforms. On Google,

ad rank is determined by a Quality Score, which is influenced by factors such as bid amount and time of day. The device is used to enter the query, advertisement formatting, historical click-through rate, keyword-to-ad relevance, keyword and ad-to-search query relevance, and the quality and relevance of the landing page.

Each factor is categorized as average, above average, or below average, determining the score. Like

  • Bid Amount
  • Time of day
  • The device used to enter the query
  • Advertisement formatting (including extensions)
  • Historical click-through rate
  • Keyword to ad relevance
  • Keyword and ad to search query relevance
  • Quality and relevance

Targeting on PPC

Bids can be automatically adjusted for keywords based on targeting options, giving advertisers more control over traffic and spending by bidding when customers are more valuable to the business. Choosing the right keywords enables advertisers to show ads to relevant audiences. In addition, targeting options such as device targeting, location targeting, day and time targeting, and demographic targeting allow advertisers to optimize their campaigns by targeting users on mobile in the evening or users under 25 and within a certain radius of a particular location.

Testing different variations of ad copy are valuable as they perform better for certain groups of users. Remarketing tools also allow for targeted ad copy messaging and adjusted budgets, making it possible to target or exclude past website visitors who conduct follow-up searches.


All the effort into PPC advertising is to get clicks and ultimately achieve conversions. Conversions are the desired actions that advertisers want users to take after clicking on their ad, and they vary depending on the type of business being advertised. Some conversion example is:

  1. Purchasing a product
  2. Click a newsletter link
  3. Signing up for a service

Tracking conversions is crucial to evaluating the performance of a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and determining the number of modifications that can be attributed to paid search as opposed to other marketing channels. Platforms such as Google Ads can track conversions by inserting a code snippet into the source code of the conversion page, like a thank you page, to gather conversion data. However, it’s important to note that conversion tracking can be complex, as conversion paths are more complicated than a simple click on an ad and direct purchase.

Best Practices for a Quality PPC

Following some best practices is essential to ensure success with your next PPC campaign. Here are a few strategies to consider when creating and managing your paid search ads:

Bidding on targeted keywords will ensure your ad reaches the right audience. Good ad copy will increase the likelihood of those people clicking on your ad. Ad copy should align with the searcher’s intent and communicate your solution.

Make the most of limited space by including the following:

  1. A headline
  2. A URL
  3. A short description

Use these elements to speak directly to your target persona, include the main keyword, provide a clear call-to-action, make an appealing offer, match the language to your landing page and perform A/B testing.


Retargeting is a highly effective form of PPC advertising that targets customers who have previously shown interest in your product or brand. By using cookies to track user behavior, retargeting allows you to show your ads to those who have visited your website but may still need to complete a purchase. It can be a powerful tool to bring back customers on the fence and remind them of your product or service. All major PPC platforms offer retargeting options, so you can reach out to those interested customers and try to win their business. Retargeting can be a great way to maximize your PPC advertising budget and drive conversions.

Landing Page

The landing page, where leads are directed after clicking on your ad, is crucial to the success of your PPC campaign. It must be highly targeted, relevant to your ad, deliver on promises made, and provide a seamless experience because the purpose of the landing page is to convert visitors into leads or customers. Additionally, a high-converting landing page will improve your Quality Score, resulting in better ad placements. A poorly crafted landing page will negatively impact PPC profits.

Testing Your PPC ADs

As a marketer, testing is crucial to the success of your PPC campaigns. A/B testing is essential to ensure that your ads perform at their best by increasing your click-through and conversion rates. The four elements to test are the headline, description, landing page, and target keywords. It’s essential to make one change at a time to track the impact of each element. To optimize your testing, prioritize potential tests by their potential impact and allow your ads to run for a sufficient amount of time to gather data before making any adjustments. It will help you save money on underperforming ads.

PPC Management

Paid advertising requires ongoing management, analysis, and tracking to achieve optimal results. These activities provide valuable insights and help improve the campaign’s effectiveness.

What is PPC Management & how its work?

Effective PPC management involves various techniques, such as setting and adjusting goals, testing variations, incorporating new keywords, optimizing conversion paths, and adjusting plans to achieve desired outcomes. It involves closely monitoring the strategy and ad spending to maximize keyword effectiveness and allocate resources for maximum return on investment. Additionally, staying informed about updates and changes from providers such as search engines, social platforms, and ad networks is crucial for successful PPC management. Investing in specialized tools can aid in streamlining and simplifying the management process.


Ad extensions can significantly enhance your PPC ads by boosting ad ranking and providing users with more information about your products or services. Examples of effective ad extensions include Location extensions, Call extensions, Review extensions, site link extensions, and Callout extensions. Ppc can add these to your advertisements on various platforms.

Sitelink extensions

Sitelink extensions are a type of ad extension that allows you to add additional links to your advertisement, directing users to specific pages on your website. Site links can use these links to promote particular products, services, or website sections relevant to the user’s search query. Sitelink extensions can be manually added to your ads and should always be relevant to your ad’s keywords and overall message.

Location extensions

Location extensions are useful ad extensions for businesses with physical locations. They allow you to add your store’s address and phone number to your advertisement, making it easier for customers to find and visit your store. This extension is particularly effective for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations as it helps drive foot traffic. Growth can also use location extensions to build an omnichannel marketing strategy by providing a seamless transition between online and in-store shopping. You can leverage this extension to add social proofing by displaying Google Maps reviews if you advertise on Google.

Call extension

Call extensions are ad extension that allows you to add a phone number to your advertisement, making it easy for customers to contact your business. When a user clicks on the phone number on a mobile device, the Call is automatically placed. On the desktop, the phone number is displayed within the ad, and users can call manually. This feature is handy for businesses that rely on phone calls for conversions, like appointment setting, or for companies with a high-consideration product or service, like real estate or car dealerships.

PPC AD Management Tools

Effective PPC campaign management requires keeping track of various variables. While you can monitor your ads within the platform, using specialized tools can make the process much more efficient. A robust spreadsheet or sophisticated software can provide valuable insights into your ad performance. Some tools that can help you in this regard:

  • HubSpot: A Robust Template for Managing PPC Campaigns” – HubSpot offers a comprehensive template to help you keep track of the various elements of your campaign, including ad groups, keywords, and A/B tests.
  • WordStream: Automating the Tedious Parts of PPC Management” – WordStream automates the time-consuming aspects of setting up and managing your PPC campaign, making the process more efficient.
  • NinjaCat: Combining Analytics from Multiple Platforms” – NinjaCat allows you to gather analytics from multiple platforms and present them in one report, making it easy to track your entire campaign in one location.
  • Optmyzr: End-to-End PPC Support with a Free Trial” – Optmyzr offers a range of tools for PPC campaign management, from creation to reporting, and provides a free trial of its software.
  • SEMRush: Keyword Management for PPC Campaigns” – SEMRush helps you manage the crucial aspect of PPC campaigns – keywords. With SEMRush, you can find relevant keywords, optimize your keyword lists, and create negative lists.
  • Unbounce: Landing Page Builder for PPC Campaigns” – Unbounce is a page builder that you can use to create landing pages for each of your different PPC campaigns.
  • Databox: Performance Tracking and Predictive Analysis for PPC” – Databox allows businesses to track the performance of their ads and view critical metrics across a single dashboard. It also includes predictive analysis to estimate how well your ads will perform in the future.
  • Ahrefs: PPC Performance Tracking and Competitor Analysis” – Ahrefs is a powerful SEO tool that can also be used to check the performance of your PPC ads and spy on your competitor’s keywords.
  • Microsoft Advertising Editor: PPC Management for Bing Ads” – Microsoft Advertising Editor (formerly Bing Ad Editor) is a management tool for PPC ads run through Bing. It allows you to manage bids, research keywords, and make ad changes.

PPC metric

  • Clicks: The total number of clicks received on an ad, affected by keyword selection and ad copy relevance.
  • Cost per Click (CPC): The price you pay for each click on your ad.
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR): The percentage of ad views resulting in clicks determines CPC.
  • Impressions: The number of times an ad  viewed. Cost per Mille (CPM)  determined for every thousand images.
  • Ad Spend: The amount you spend on your ads  can be optimized by improving your Quality Score.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): The ROI of your ad campaign is calculated as the revenue received for every dollar spent on ads.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of people that complete the call-to-action on your landing page and become a lead or customer.
  • Cost per Conversion: The cost to generate a lead, calculated as the total cost of an ad divided by the number of conversions.
  • Quality Score (QS): Determining ad positioning is an important metric to monitor.

By closely monitoring these metrics, you can improve your PPC campaign’s ROI and get better results for less spending.

SERP Stats Tips

Here are some tips for optimizing your PPC campaigns using Serpstat:

  • Use the Keyword Research tool to find profitable keywords for your campaigns.
  • Use the Competitor Analysis tool to identify your competitors’ most successful ads and keywords.
  • Use the PPC Keyword Tool to find long-tail and negative keywords to improve your campaign targeting.
  • Use the Landing Pages Analysis tool to optimize your landing pages for better conversion rates.
  • Use the Ad Builder to create compelling ad copies and ad groups.
  • Utilize the SERP Features Analysis tool to identify the SERP features in which your competitors appear, and make sure to optimize your campaigns accordingly.
  • Use the Ads History tool to track the performance of your ads over time and make adjustments as needed.
  • Use the Audience Insights tool to identify the demographics of your target audience and tailor your campaigns to reach them more effectively.

Using these tips, you can optimize your PPC campaigns, increase your ROI and drive more conversions.

People Also Asked

What is PPC marketing?

PPC marketing is a form of digital advertising where you pay for each click on your ads.

How does PPC work?

PPC displays ads to targeted users and charges you only when someone clicks on your ad.

What are the types of PPC campaigns?

The main types of PPC campaigns are search, display, social, and shopping.

What are the benefits of PPC advertising?

The benefits of PPC advertising include increased visibility, target audience reach, and measurable results.

What is the best PPC platform to use?

The best PPC platform depends on your business goals and target audience. The most popular options are Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

How do I set up a PPC campaign?

Setting up a PPC campaign involves choosing a platform, conducting keyword research, creating ad copy and landing pages, and setting a budget.

How do I optimize my PPC campaign?

Optimizing your PPC campaign involves continually analyzing performance data, making data-driven decisions, A/B testing, and utilizing advanced features and tools.

What are the best practices for PPC marketing?

The best practices for PPC marketing include targeting and audience segmentation, mobile optimization, landing page optimization, and integration with other digital marketing channels.

What are the challenges and pitfalls of PPC marketing?

The challenges and pitfalls of PPC marketing include click fraud, cost inflation, ad fatigue, low conversion rates, and difficulties in measuring ROI.

How can I improve my PPC marketing skills?

Improving your PPC marketing skills involves ongoing education and experimentation, staying up-to-date with industry developments, and continually analyzing and optimizing your campaigns.


In conclusion, PPC marketing is a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase their visibility and reach target audiences. Companies can see measurable results and success with their PPC efforts by setting up and optimizing campaigns, utilizing best practices, and avoiding common challenges. As with all forms of digital marketing, continued education and experimentation are critical to success.